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Clipless shoes - Shimano AM9, Fiveten Kestrel or Giro Chamber

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2/12/2016 1:30 AM
Edited Date/Time: 2/12/2016 1:35 AM

I'm after a little help with skate style clipless shoes. I currently have the Shimano AM45 but the sole is falling off and am after a replacement. I like the AM45 except for the weight and possibly the lack of a strap to lock in the heel.

I use crank brothers Mallet DH pedals and would like a shoe that sits on the front and back of the pedal as well as the centre so that it still feels like you are standing on a flat pedal.

The obvious replacement seems to be the Shimano AM9, as it's a bit lighter and seems to have improved the sole for cleat entry. Before going that way I thought I'd ask you guys about alternatives. I like the giro cambers but they don't have the heel protection and are a little heavier, I also like the Kestrels but am concerned that the sole would be too stiff to feel the pedal which is important to me. Any others? Maybe the Five Ten Impact Vxi clipless?

I'm looking for a retailer that stocks most of these that I can go and try some on but would appreciate any thoughts you guys have.


2/12/2016 1:56 PM

Here are a few reviews worth reading:

Five Ten Kestrel -,61/Five-Ten/Kestrel,15689#product-reviews/2029

Five Ten Impact Vxi -,61/Five-Ten/Impact-VXi,14698#product-reviews/1808

I've personally found the Specialized 2F0 clips to be a recent favorite, so consider those as an option as well -,7883/Slideshow,0/bturman,109


2/12/2016 2:04 PM


2/12/2016 2:44 PM

I have the Fiveten Kestrel and I can honestly say that I am not very impressed. They are extremely stiff, stiffer than my xc shoes. I am also looking for a replacement, I am looking at the Giro Chamber and the Fiveten Maltese Falcon.


2/17/2016 8:10 PM

I'd really consider the Giro Chamber! I've been on the same 2 pairs for 2 years now and in the summer I'm riding 5 to 6 days a week and they still hold up really good. I had Vans warner spd's before and they were falling apart after not even a complete season. Some of my friends have the Fiveten Impact VXI and they both had issues with the plastic where the cleat bolts, it was breaking. The giro are super strong, the cleat rails are located a bit closer to the middle of the foot so you can bring the cleats lower and have a better feeling for DH riding. They are also really comfortable. The best shoes I've had.


2/17/2016 11:47 PM

Thanks for all the feedback guys. This was the way I was thinking:

Kestrels and 2FO - too stiff to really feel the pedals. Reviews seem to suggest that the Impact Vxi and AM9 are quite soft and the chamber is somewhere in the middle.

The standard giro chamber doesn't have much heel protection but otherwise seems well reviewed (cheers beast), could go for the high top version.

The Impact Vxi seems to have issues with the cleat mount pulling away from the rest of the shoe. Does anyone know if that's been fixed? Reviews also note that the sole is thin which would be great for feel, the AM45 always felt like you were quite high up compared to flats.

I like the idea of the really long cutout on the sole for the AM9 just because it feels like it would be easier to locate the mallet pedal. They seem to be the front runner (softer sole, light, splash cover, heel protection and Shimano reliability).


2/18/2016 7:46 PM

For what it's worth, I found the 2FO flats to be too stiff, but the clips are on point.